Research shows that when parents are actively involved in their children’s education, children become more active participants in the educational process. This engagement helps improve attendance rates, instills better study habits, and mitigates many problems that arise by immediately addressing them – all of which are key factors in academic success.
The Guam Department of Education’s PowerSchool Parent Portal provides parents confidential and real-time access to information about their children’s performance in school. PowerSchool can be accessed from any computer with an internet connection and allows parents to monitor their children’s: attendance, status of assignments, grades, service learning hours and progress toward graduation through their own PowerSchool Parent Portal account. Parents can view:
1. Attendance: According to Guam laws and GEPB policies, students are required to attend school, and parents are responsible for ensuring that they do. PowerSchool shows parents their children’s attendance per class, and immediately notifies them through a text message to the phone number they provided when their child is absent from class. This allows parents to either contact their child directly to find out where he or she is, or to notify the school if something has happened.
2. Assignments: PowerSchool provides detailed assignment descriptions, and allows parents to see what assignments their children are missing, what grades they are getting on those assignments, and what grades they are getting on tests, quizzes or projects. It also shows parents their children’s overall grade in the class. By checking on their children’s progress even just once per week, parents can intervene immediately should their children fall behind, and get them back on track as soon as possible.
3. Grades: Parents can not only see their children’s current grades but their historical grades as well. The Grade History Page displays information about a student’s quarter and semester grades.
4. Graduation progress: PowerSchool shows parents how many credits their children have earned, their GPA, and their class rank. If parents see that their children are lacking credits, and are not on track to graduate with their class, parents can take immediate action.
5. Service learning hours: The amount of service learning hours that a student has accumulated is also displayed. Public Law 28-41 requires that all students must earn a total of 75 service learning hours in order to graduate from high school. This requirement is on top of the 24 credit hours required for graduation. Therefore, if your child is a senior, and is not within range of the 75-hour mark, have him or her go to www.guamservicelearning.com to see what service-learning projects are being offered so he or she can join, and accumulate the needed hours.
6. Email messages from teachers: Teachers frequently post comments in PowerSchool about students’ work habits, performance, behavior, or attendance. Parents no longer have to wait until report card time to find out how their children are performing in class.
7. Balances your children owe: Parents can find out immediately if their children owe money for books or lab fees. The amounts and description are posted. If an error has occurred, it can be clarified right away.
Today, more than ever, parental involvement is critical to the academic success of children. If you have not set up your PowerSchool Parent Portal, call your child’s school to find out what information is required to create your very own personal and confidential PowerSchool Parent Portal Account. Remember that a child’s success in school depends on a partnership between teachers, parents, and students.
Elizabeth Hamilton has master's degrees in education and the arts. She is a teacher with 30 years of professional experience. You can write to her at email@example.com with your questions or comments.